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3 Unfair Facts of Life: Part II

Our time is limited. Unfair fact, or great gift?

My early years in high school weren’t all peaches and cream and I’d get in a bit of trouble from time to time. But even though I made some mistakes and did some dumb things, one thing I was never quick to do was place the blame on others. If I did the deed, I always owned up to it. I actually took pride in this. Pride in the fact that even though I was getting in fights or making teacher’s lives a living hell, I was man enough to own up to my mistakes.

Most of us immediately throw the next guy under the bus. We truly believe that we have no fault in the matter and look to place blame on someone else so we don’t have to face the consequences. I was reminded of this every time I was brought to the principal’s office with another guy. When asked what happened, all of a sudden it was everyone’s fault but their own.

The truth:

2. we are the only one’s to blamewe are to blame

I use the high school example, but this should be looked at on a much broader scope. Every decision we make in life is on us. The decision to watch TV instead of working – was it really worth it? The decision to go to college and what to study has a huge impact on our lives, especially if we stick it out and get a job in that field.

This is one of the most important facts of life to understand. It brings the control into our hands, rather than placing it on external sources and other people. We create the outcome we want to create. When it doesn’t happen, sometimes it just wasn’t meant to be, but that isn’t the fault of someone else.

Instead of looking to place blame on others, or looking for a scapegoat to throw under the bus, look in the mirror. It’s an amazing feeling when you realize just how much control and impact we have over our own lives.

3. time stops for no one

Time is something that we all have. We don’t know exactly how much, how long, or when our time will end. But we are all given the right amount of time.

The unfair part of time is that good people often have a very limited amount of time. It sucks, but good people often die young just like bad people do. Is this a curse, a burden to bear, something to worry about; or is it a gift and a blessing?

It’s a shitty fact of life that we all have to come to grips with, but it’s also a liberating feeling that our time is limited. As is the time of our parents, friends, and family. We can’t take our time with them, or our time on this planet for granted because of the pesky fact that it’s limited; to what degree we have no clue.

So what can we do to ensure that we’re living a big, bold, audacious, and purposeful life that will be filled with less regret?

  • Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with their song still in them. Henry David Thoreau

At all costs, don’t leave your song still in you. Find what makes you happy and gives your life meaning and purpose, then do whatever it takes to live the life you feel you’re destined to live. Work hard. Take risks. Travel. Sacrifice. Fail.

  • I know I’m a better man because of knowing…

Be the end to that statement. An exercise that I’ve been working on as of late is developing 12 rules that I live by (article coming soon). Have rules, values, and principles that guide your life. Then don’t waver. When you waver you may have moments of happiness, but they’re always followed by sadness and self-loathing.

If your health and physical condition are extremely important to you, never miss a workout unless its a scheduled break. If you’re not a drinker, then don’t drink. If you’re not a smoker, then don’t smoke. If you’re not a liar then don’t lie or cheat. Ever. If being good to others and helping people is important to you, then be that guy. If being humble and quiet is a part of your nature, don’t try and change that, be that.

Be who you are, always. With pride and confidence. People will always respect you more for being true to yourself.

  • Many of the great achievements of the world were accomplished by tired and discouraged men who kept on working.

Work hard. Really hard. A life spent dedicated to a mission that we believe in is impossible to waste. If you’re lucky enough to have found your mission and that great thing you want to achieve, give yourself the gift of a tenacious work ethic and your time will never be wasted.

  • “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” Steve Jobs
  • “You can’t change the past, but you can ruin the present by worrying about the future”

Being present and in the moment is a must. It’s a real struggle, too. I’ve struggled with it because of how much I love to dream, ponder, and wonder, “What if? How? One day…” Being in the moment is one of the only ways not to waste time. Be present in conversations. Learn to enjoy your own quiet time. Enjoy the struggle and the journey. In life it’s not the easy times we’ll remember most, but the times of tribulation that shape us into the men we are becoming.

seek out uncomfortable situations

Life is boring and often meaningless if we stay in our comfort zones. Sadly, this is where we mainly stay for the majority of our lives. It makes sense; stay where we feel comfortable and safe. But safety is a myth.

Safety isn’t safe. Safety is a guarantee that we won’t reach our potential, experience all that life has to offer. Safety doesn’t mean success in any sense. Safety means that we won’t laugh as much as we can laugh. Cry as much as we can cry. Feel as much as we can feel.

Safety means we won’t live. Wasted time is a tragedy. A wasted life is the tragedy. If we spend our whole lives protected by safety, we’ll be the latest tragedy in the obituary section.

Question for the Comments Section:

What are some ways you can get out of your comfort zone?

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  • http://www.thewallenway.com Daniel Wallen

    Timely post considering my current situation! I have wanted to start an online training business for going on a year now. I kept yacking about it until about 3 months ago, when I decided to "jump into the deep-end."

    What helped me most is this: starting with a big, hairy, audacious goal. Go big or go broke with a "vision" that is bad-ass. I then turned that "vision" into small, manageable steps–I took on 4 friends as free "clients" who I have been working with for 3 months now. Free practice, personal satisfaction for my part in helping them change mind and body, and future testimonials. Step 2 was starting a blog. Step 3 was getting a .com.

    I'm taking it one step at a time to avoid getting overwhelmed, and will keep hacking at it until I get there. Dream big. You'd be surprised what you can accomplish when you boil the process down into individual steps.

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/blog/ Chad Howse

      GREAT to hear bro! Glad you're taking those action steps.

      Let me know how I can help.

  • andrewseher

    This is great, Chad. Looking forward to Part III.

  • Shibui

    "For them that defend what they cannot see
    With a killer's pride — security
    For them that think death's honesty
    Won't fall upon them naturally
    Life sometimes must get lonely. — Bob Dylan